Julie Court said her employee at Chippewa Falls Chiropractic tried hard, but wasn’t able to do the work.

“My actions were to take care of that employee and that’s why I let her stay at my business for so long,” Court said.

But after getting complaints about the woman’s work,  Court fired the employee at the end of a job probation period.

The former worker then applied for, and received, unemployment, a benefit employers pay through unemployment insurance.

Disputed unemployment cases are decided by what the state calls an administrative law judge. That’s an attorney who works for the state who writes a decision.

“The unemployment insurance person told me over the phone that it’s not the fault of the employee that she cannot do the job,” Court told local lawmakers Friday at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Chippewa Falls.

“That’s zero rights as an employer when someone cannot do her job,” Court said.

The session with Georgia Maxwell, executive assistant with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and two local legislators drew 10 people representing businesses.

“I’m not hiring again when I have no rights,” Court said.

She wasn’t alone in telling state Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and state Rep. Tom Larson (R-Colfax) that.

“I don’t give anybody a benefit of a doubt anymore, which is really unfair,” said Randy Kuhnert of the Red Zone Sports Bar in Lake Hallie.

If workers can’t cut it within two or three days, they should be out of work, Kuhnert said.

“I’ve become an expert on how not to hire people,” he said.

“Unemployment should be for people who need it to support their families. It should not be for people who change jobs, and jobs, and jobs,” Kuhnert said.

Employer confidence is low, said Dan Lytle, coordinator for the Eau Claire County Job Center.

He said the center sees 2,000 people a month.

“There is a reluctance in the job market to get back to work,” he said.

He called a state requirement that job seekers have to do two jobs searches a week to continue receiving unemployment as ridiculous, saying that figure was too low.

“There needs to be significant changes to kind of put a fire underneath their pants,” Lytle said of the job seekers.

“There is a huge false sense of entitlement for people who are collecting the (unemployment) benefit,” he said.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker is proposing several changes to the unemployment system, said Maxwell, a Walker appointee. They include:

-- Changing the number of required weekly job searches from two to four.

-- Reducing the exceptions allowed for quitting a job and receiving unemployment from 18 to 7.

-- adding a tiered system to add a “substantial fault” criteria to fire a worker for misconduct.

But whether those changes can be taken up by the Legislature hinges on the little known 10 member Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, made up of five labor and five management representatives. For a measure to pass there, it must get the backing of at least eight members. Then it can be sent to the legislature.

Larson, who has owned an electrical business in Colfax for more than 20 years, has appeared before the council. He said they do not change their minds easily.

“They pretty much weren’t interested in what I had to say at all,” Larson said.

Maxwell urged the business owners at the meeting to write or email her with their experiences with the unemployment system.

“This affects lives. This affects people,” she said.

The email for a liaison in Maxwell’s office is: connie.schultze@dwd.wisconsin.gov.

(13) comments

hallie

Please get this problem fixed. There are plenty of jobs out there if people want to work. I know what people will say next..."but the jobs don't pay well or it is not what I want". You may need to take a job at something else and work your way back up!

Yellow River Rat

This is nothing more than another Walker Administration dog and pony show. Two business owning legislators inviting ten business owners in to discuss taking Unemployment Compensation away from workers. The reason the UC was in place is because of unscrupulous business owners misrepresenting compensation, job responsibilities, and many other factors in the interview process. Anyone that has ever interviewed for a job and then actually started the job knows in a short time that what was promised in the interview is not always what happens on the job. Walker can't fill jobs and yet his administration continues the war against workers.

Thundercloud

"I'm not hiring again when I have no rights." This entire meeting sounds weird. Maybe if employers paid a fair salary, they would keep employees on. No mention of that, though.

bayview

We, too, are experts at hiring or rather trying to hire help to do a simple job in a pizza shop. We treat our employees rather well and though they start out at slightly above minimum wage, they get free pizzas, soda and sometimes a little extra bonus at the end of the evening on a very busy day which helps to raise the hourly wage by 2-3 dollars per hr. But just about each one wants to then take over the place and tell us what to do and how to run the shop. They want to start at the top with high wages and know nothing about how we want our business to operate. Many of the applicants have records a mile long and my wife will not work with people like that. She'd rather do it herself. Plus, very few of them can even clean up when they come in to apply for a job or get interviewed. Who would want these kind of people hanging around;.they'd chase our business away when seeing how dirty they are and they're making pizzas? Think not!! They don't know how to work yet know all the answers

Goodknight
Goodknight

I've been a victim of "firing" but the root cause was not a result of "not being able to do the work" as reported by this company to the state Department of Workforce Development. It was a combination of a department head and the economy. The bottom line of most companies is not the well being of their work force but the 10+ growth factor in revenues. To gain or retain the fiscal growth factor one of the ways is not to retain employees nor pay a 13 week benefit.

giddyfisher
giddyfisher

Thundercloud - maybe if employees would do something of worth they would be paid accordingly.

Thundercloud

Where unions are born....

Sand-Blaster

*“Unemployment should be for people who need it to support their families. It should not be for people who change jobs, and jobs, and jobs,” Kuhnert said.* ...
So... After a 20+ year carer I was fired on trumped up charges of a "Rule Violation"...
I then spent 18 months working intermittently at Temp Agencies. ... (from a one day assignment, to 6+ months) ...
Does that mean I should NOT qualify because I am changing jobs frequently? .. Or should I NOT qualify because some Bean Counter thinks I Do Not need the $$ to support my family?

farly
farly

Here we go, Walker and his k-k-k-comrades are up to more shenanigans. WE, AS EMPLOYEES, pay for this compensation every time it's taken out of our paycheck. Employers presently have MANY more rights than employees and we all have been abused in some way because of it. So cry me a river about firing someone and regretting they still get treated fairly.

Daisy

Unemployment compensation is not deducted from an employee's paycheck. State & federal unemployment are payroll taxes that an employer pays on the amount of their payroll.

Merlin
Merlin

Has anyone ever heard of the free market?

I realize that many who post here are against having a desirable skill that someone would want to pay you for and expect you to do that skill to the best of your ability at the pay rate you agreed to do it at.

Unemployment has been abused, plain and simple. The statistics show that 70% of workers magically get jobs within 2 weeks of the benefits expiring - AFTER 97 WEEKS ON UNEMPLOYMENT. The other 30%? I think the average was like 60-90 days on unemployment before they were employed again. There is a reason that there were restrictions put on the number of weeks you could remain on unemployment.

Everyone wants what they want but they aren't willing to work for it, they want someone to give it too them - that isn't a Free Market and certainly not a Democrat Republic.

If you want all of this "protection", Europe is perfect for you. Although I doubt your standard of living would be as high - in fact I know it wouldn't.

redfromwi

Well I know for a fact finding a job, even one that pays $7.25/hour is not all that easy.
I have been looking for a job, any job, regardless of the pay per hour for over 12 months and I am still looking, I apply for no less than 4 open postions a week, seldom hearing back from an employer.
I am tired of hearing that I am over qulafied for a job I apply for.
I am the one looking for work, I am applying at your company for the open postion even though it only pays $7.25/hour, I'd be happy to get that as $0.00/hour I recive now is far less than what your company is offering.
I have never collected a dime in unemployment in the past 29 years, as I have never qulafied for it.
So employers, please stop winning there are few qulaified prospects to chose from when you turn away those who are willing to do the work for the low pay and no benifits.

redfromwi

Why is it todays employers feel no need to respond to those who apply for a open job?
No letting the prospect employee know they where not chosen or even if they recived your application.
If by chance you do get an interview for the open job, you never hear back unless you happen to be the one chosen for the job, all others are left wondering.
Try to check up on the open postion and you run into a brick wall, or worst yet, labeled to pushy and taken off the list of possable prospects.

How about training new employees on the proper way to do the job, they may know the basics, even may have done simular work, but each company has there own way of doing the job, spend a little time showing the new person the way you want the work done.

Time are hard, jobs are plentiful, 300 applying for that 1 job, but employers still complaining they can't fill open postions, and than complain about unemployment compensation costs.
Lets put those looking for work back to work...

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